By Thomas L Blair, 1 July 2017 ©
This new Parliament has more Black and Asian MPs than ever before. Now of 51 sitting MPs, 18 are of African and Caribbean origins. Notably, they are the most diverse new entrants in 30 years since the first 4 MPs of colour were elected to the House in 1987.
However, what does this really mean to those who are considered different or treated differently.
Critical time for change
The neophytes have joined the political bureaucracy. Hurrah. Yet, people are right to worry. Politicians feeding at the government trough breeds dependency and laziness. Vision and vigorous positive action are needed to conquer political despair.
So let’s set some tasks for the “New Blacks” in politics. Why? Because the post-election period is the best time to introduce radical and difficult issues.
Learn to heal with the powers you gain
First, listen to the youth. This election means most to young people whose voices are finally being heard. “We will no longer be marginalised. We will not be cast-aside or forgotten,” said Kirsty Kew, a media student who blogs for change.
Second, the neophytes must carry forward the minority ethnic challenge. Their representation is the essence of a democratic society. Hence, the election results could be “a massive step forward in the right direction”, said Simon Woolley, cofounder and director of Operation Black Vote.
“The challenge for all of us now will be to keep this momentum going. Our collective Race Equality Manifesto gives us a focus and platform for policy demands. Equally having a record number of BME MP’s also helps us ensure we have a louder voice in crucial political debates”, said Wooley.
Read more on the GE 2017 elections here in the Chronicle Weblog